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Ciudad de Floridablanca - Semi-Finals: As It Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction from semi-finals day at the Ciudad de Floridablanca.

World No.6 Amanda Sobhy and World No.27 Olivia Blatchford clash in an all-US semi-final, while Malaysian superstar Nicol David will take on England's World No.10 Alison Waters.

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT-5)
18:30 [1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Olivia Blatchford (USA)
19:15 [3] Alison Waters (ENG) v [2] Nicol David (MAS)

Blatchford Through to Final After Injury to Sobhy at Match Ball Up

Top seed Amanda Sobhy’s tournament at the Ciudad de Floridablanca came to an end after the United States No.1 suffered a devastating achilles injury at match ball up during her semi-final clash with compatriot Olivia Blatchford.

Sobhy had been putting in an imperious display against her Team USA teammate as she powered two games ahead, taking them 11-1, 11-6 as she controlled the ’T’ and unleashed some crashing winners to the back of the court.

But, at 10-5 up and on the verge of securing her place in the final, Sobhy’s achilles on her left leg gave way as she set off to chase down a drop, leaving the World No.6 crumpled on the floor, and she was forced to retire from the match and the tournament.

“She was outplaying me completely, she was 100 per cent the better squash player,” said an emotional Blatchford, with whom Sobhy is close friends.

“I was five match balls down so I thought I would do some different things, I just sent her the wrong way and, when she moved, she went down. I’m praying for her, all I can do now is be the best teammate I can for her now and take her strength by doing my best tomorrow.

“I know I don’t deserve to be out there tomorrow, she does, so the best thing I can do is honour her by giving my best on court tomorrow. I need to really show up tomorrow for Amanda.”

Sobhy has struggled with injury at the beginning of 2017, with a partially torn fascia impeding her progress at January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

It also marks the second round in a row in which Blatchford’s opponent has failed to see out the match, with a hip injury befallen quarter-final Emily Whitlock during yesterday’s play.

The World No.27 will now take place in her biggest ever PSA World Tour final, with one of Nicol David or Alison Waters awaiting the United States No.2 in the title decider.

Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-2: 1-11, 6-11, 5-10 ret. (32m)

David Beats Waters to Reach 101st Tour Final

Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David will appear in the 101st Tour final of her glittering career after the 33-year-old recovered from a game down to beat England’s World No.10 Alison Waters.

David, the World No.7, was up against it in the first game as a sublime performance from the experienced Waters saw her pull away from 7-7, displaying some deft shots at the front of the court as she opened up a one-game lead.

Waters continued to move David around the court in the second game, with the World No.1 having no answer to Waters’ impressive consistency.

But David, who lead the head-to-head record 25-2 heading into the match, began to find her rhythm with a tin from Waters handing the game to David to restore parity.

As the third match went on, Waters’ previously unerring accuracy began to drop and David profited as she closed out the third for the loss of six points, before an exhausted Waters took just two points from the fourth as David closed out the win to reach a first PSA World Tour final since the 2015 Hong Kong Open – where she will face Blatchford.

“I was just a bit reactive in some parts of the match and she was free-flowing,” said David.

“I wasn’t fully comfortable hitting my shots or finding my lines. I managed to settle into the game and started hitting my targets well and putting her under pressure.

“I was really pleased to enforce my game and pull it through to win 3-1.

“I’m glad to get to the finals here, it’s been such a special tournament, I’m just really enjoying it. I’ll give it a good go. When you’re in a final, you’re both there to just go for it and I’ll be doing just that.”

[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 (49m)

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